Are You Kidding Me?

By American Enterprise Institute

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Description

Sometimes the very strategies meant to help children have the opposite effect. Join AEI’s Naomi Schaefer Riley and Ian Rowe as they look behind the headlines at the public policies and cultural agendas driving child welfare and education. Rowe and Riley bring to light practices that will make you ask, “Are you kidding me?”

Episode Date
Why the Indian Child Welfare Act harms children
27:02
Description: In the 1978, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) became law — institutionalizing a sweeping set of race-based restrictions over how child welfare systems can treat Indian children. While the law was passed with the noble intent of protecting Native American cultures, its effects have been devastating, halting the protection of children in countless dangerous situations. Why is ICWA so harmful to children? How can lawmakers address the shortcomings of this law while supporting the preservation of Native American cultures? What is the likelihood the courts will strike down ICWA as unconstitutional for discriminating on the basis of race? In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://twitter.com/TimothySandefur?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Timothy Sandefur), vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Timothy discusses the history of ICWA, the current crisis of unaddressed maltreatment among Indian children, and recent court decisions that give him hope that leaders are beginning to recognize the unconstitutionality of many provisions in this law.     Resources: https://www.aei.org/op-eds/the-indian-child-welfare-act-a-law-that-paved-the-way-for-a-5-year-olds-death/ (The Indian Child Welfare Act: A law that paved the way for a 5-year-old’s death) | Naomi Schaefer Riley | USA Today https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/native-american-foster-children-suffer-under-a-law-originally-meant-to-help-them-8621832 (Native American foster children suffer under a law originally meant to help them) | Elizabeth Stuart | Phoenix New Times Show notes: 01:08 | Why the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed in the 1970s and how it has shaped the child welfare system 07:00 | Is ICWA constitutional given its basis on race? 10:00 | The recent decision of the Fifth Circuit of Appeals to strike down the “active efforts” provision of ICWA 12:35 | The crisis of abuse among Indian children and the real-life implications of ICWA for these kids 17:20 How we can protect Indian children and also preserve the integrity of Native American culture 20:45 | Will the Supreme Court review ICWA in the near future? 24:05 | Does ICWA deter foster and adoptive families from trying to take care of Indian children?
Jun 09, 2021
Why we need a child-centered approach to adoption and parenting
24:38
Description: Conversations about polyamory, same-sex parenting, and other alternative family arrangements have received increased national attention in recent years. But so often, these discussions focus primarily on the interests and desires of adults and pay very little attention to the wellbeing of children. What factors should serve as the impetus for change in policy and culture around child welfare? How should we balance the desires of adults with the needs of children when making decisions about the type of family a child will be raised in? In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://twitter.com/Advo_Katy?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Katy Faust), author of “https://www.amazon.com/Them-Before-Us-Childrens-Movement/dp/1662077505 (Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement),” and founder of an advocacy organization with the same title. Katy discusses why her organization is advancing a child-centered approach to parenting, adoption, and child welfare. She outlines her conclusions from quantitative research and the stories of children and adults looking back on their childhood about the type of family arrangement that is best suited to help kids flourish, and the implications that has for public policy.  Show notes: 01:15 | The child-centered approach to child welfare and adoption Katy Faust is advocating 05:50 | What does it mean for children to have natural rights, independent of the desires and interests of adults? 10:20 | Why, in the world of children’s rights, adults must do hard things 12:40 | The importance of storytelling in the fight for children’s rights 14:05 | The data show that any family structure other than a child living with their two biological parents leads to worse outcomes for children 21:50 | Why “Them Before Us” seeks to change both hearts and laws
May 26, 2021
University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax’s defense of academic standards
31:20
Description: A professor at Georgetown Law School was recently fired for remarks she made during a private zoom call about the academic performance of black students at Georgetown — raising several questions about the nature of and potential solutions to racial disparities in higher education. What are the root causes of racial disparities in schools? How much freedom should professors and administrators be given to explore explanations of disparities that move beyond institutional racism? Should objective measurements of performance — such as standardized tests — be abolished? In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by University of Pennsylvania law professor https://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/awax/ (Amy Wax) to discuss these issues and more. Professor Wax offers her defense of academic standards, arguing that movements seeking to deny the root causes of disparities and attribute all differences to structural racism are threatening the integrity of higher education institutions. Resources: https://lawreviewblog.uchicago.edu/2020/10/30/aa-wax/ (Pursuing Diversity: From Education to Employment) | Amy L. Wax | The University of Chicago Law Review https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/03/12/georgetown-terminates-law-professor-reprehensible-comments-about-black-students (Georgetown professor fired for statements about black students) | Elizabeth Redden | Inside Higher Ed Show notes: 00:45 | How one Georgetown professor was fired for private comments made over a zoom call, and Professor Wax’s own experience with cancel culture in higher education 03:45 | Should objective measures of performance be treated as suspect? 13:00 | The unavoidably comparative nature of law school 15:40 | Which early interventions can policymakers make to reduce racial disparities in academic achievement? 20:00 | How the crisis of family breakdown cuts across racial and ethnic lines today 26:00 | How the narrowing "Overton window" of acceptable beliefs on the cause of racial disparities today threatens the quality of our educational institutions
May 12, 2021
Helping young adults transition from foster care to adulthood
29:42
Description: Foster youth today face incredible challenges building a stable life when they age out of the child welfare system. Fewer than ten percent ever graduate college, and tragic reports have outlined crises of homelessness and poverty among these young adults. But some foster youth have found healing and restoration through caring foster parents, a deeply embedded sense of personal agency, and connections to strong networks of support. We can learn a lot from the stories of these individuals about how to better serve young adults in foster care as they approach adulthood. In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://www.re-definingnormal.com/ (Justin and Alexis Black) — Authors and founders of “Redefining Normal.” Alexis and Justin share their story of transformation as they escaped a past of abuse, neglect, and trauma and began to build a future together, with the help of amazing foster parents, a strong faith, and a web of critical supports. Alexis and Justin defied the odds — graduating from college and becoming authors, public speakers, and serial entrepreneurs. Today, they have dedicated their career to building awareness around the challenges foster youth face and advocating for practices and policies that will help foster youth escape the cycle of trauma and find healing. Resources: https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/not-safe-for-kids-fixing-our-broken-child-welfare-system/ (Not safe for kids: Fixing our broken child welfare system) | Naomi Schaefer Riley | American Enterprise Institute Show notes: 03:10 | Justin and Alexis’s story growing up in foster care and the challenges they faced 08:10 | What does “normal” look like for a youth in foster care? 13:10 | How to support foster youth in healthy relationship formation and educational pursuits 16:55 | How giving foster youth a consistent and supportive place to call “home” empowers agency 18:20 | Reforming child welfare systems to help foster youth transition to adulthood 26:25 | Justin’s Rising Over Societal Expectations (ROSE) model for empowerment
Apr 21, 2021
Thomas Chatterton Williams on the importance of “unlearning” race and embracing humanism
27:16
Description: The tragic death of George Floyd has sparked many important conversations about how Americans can pursue a future characterized by unity and equality around race. Yet, amid this national reckoning on race, a divisive and disempowering philosophy of “antiracism” has risen to the forefront of American culture. Is the solution to America’s racial disparities continuously reifying race in rhetoric and public policy? What are the potential consequences of training our children to see race as the most important part of a human’s identity?  In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://twitter.com/thomaschattwill?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Thomas Chatterton Williams) — AEI visiting fellow, contributing writer for the New York Times, and prolific author and cultural critic. Thomas shares why he believes Americans must work toward unlearning race — restoring a person’s character, interests, and beliefs at the core of their identity rather than the color of their skin. Later, Thomas discusses why the core tenets of “antiracist” ideologies inadvertently reinforce ideas of white superiority and black inferiority. Resources: https://www.wsj.com/articles/beyond-black-history-month-11614355101 (Beyond Black History Month)| Thomas Chatterton Williams | The Wall Street Journal https://www.aei.org/multimedia/moving-from-persecution-to-prosperity-demystifying-black-excellence/ (Moving from persecution to prosperity: Demystifying Black excellence) | Ian Rowe, Thomas Chatterton Williams, and Glenn Loury | HBS African-American Alumni Association Show notes: 01:15 | Thomas Chatterton Williams’ philosophy of “unlearning” race 05:40 | Why critical race theory inadvertently reinforces ideas of white superiority and black inferiority 08:17 | The importance of desegregating American life, and why “safetyism” threatens progress on this front 14:50 | Controversy around the capitalization of color descriptors and the problem with “performative” justice 17:40 | How to channel the collective “moral panic” of this moment for good 24:35 | How the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR) is helping parents stand up to schools that are segregating students and violating their rights
Apr 07, 2021
Taking child welfare into the 21st century
23:34
Description: Many child welfare systems have abdicated their duties in the wake of the pandemic — failing to identify and protect children who have fallen victim to maltreatment. How can child welfare officials inspire a different approach that increases touchpoints with children, uses the resources of caseworkers and foster families more effectively, and offers faster, better care coordination for vulnerable children? What role should technology companies play in collaborating with states to improve care coordination? In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://twitter.com/dcsgregmckay?lang=en (Greg McKay) — the Director of Worldwide Health and Human Services for Microsoft and the former director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety — to discuss these questions and more. Greg talks about how his unique background in law enforcement, investigation, and foster parenting helped him take Arizona’s child welfare system from “worst” to “first” on several measures. Later, Greg discusses the importance of updating state care coordination and record-keeping technology to allow case workers to spend more time in the field with vulnerable children and less time entering data into antiquated systems. Resources: https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/what-lessons-can-the-child-welfare-system-take-from-the-covid-19-pandemic/ (What lessons can the child welfare system take from the COVID-19 pandemic?)| Naomi Schaefer Riley et Al. | American Enterprise Institute https://www.aei.org/events/child-welfare-in-the-midst-of-the-pandemic/ (Child welfare in the midst of the pandemic) | Naomi Schaefer Riley et Al. | American Enterprise Institute  Show notes: 01:20 | Greg McKay’s background in law enforcement, investigation, foster parenting, child welfare administration, and technology 02:35 | Taking Arizona’s child welfare system from “worst” to “first” 07:16 | How antiquated technology is limiting case workers’ ability to protect children during the pandemic 08:58 | How the pandemic is reducing the number of abuse and maltreatment cases that get reported, and what that means for children 10:25 | Why children need to return to in-person learning 16:50 | The most effective intervention technology companies can offer child welfare officials 19:25 | Increasing partnership and care coordination between government systems 
Mar 24, 2021
Stop blaming the tests, give kids school choice
18:06
Description: Specialized high schools for gifted students are receiving a lot of criticism these days because many tend to admit a disproportionate number of white and Asian students. But for many of these schools, admissions is based primarily on an unbiased entrance exam. If black and Hispanic students are performing less successfully on these entrance exams, does that mean the exams themselves are racist or does it point to a deeper problem? What is the role of specialized high schools in American education today? How can these schools offer talented students from all backgrounds a fair shot at success? In this episode, Naomi and Ian take up these questions and more. They discuss how disparate admissions rates point to a fundamental failure of neighborhood schools to offer disadvantaged kids the chance at a good education. And they explain why school choice can help to address this root problem.  Resources: https://www.aei.org/articles/exam-school-admissions-come-under-pressure-amid-pandemic/ (Exam-school admissions come under pressure amid pandemic) | Naomi Schaefer Riley | Education Next Show notes: 00:30 | Why are specialized schools are coming under pressure? 01:30 | Are school admission tests equitable? 04:00 | Why neighborhood schools are failing to prepare disadvantaged students for success 09:20 | Can complicated admissions formulas actually create ‘affirmative action’ for white kids? 10:25 | What are the implications for school choice? 15:20 | How should school leaders move forward?  
Mar 10, 2021
Would a child allowance help low-income children?
21:44
Over the past month, US family policy has captivated the attention of policymakers across the ideological spectrum. At the forefront of the family policy conversation: a universal child allowance. In early February 2021, Senator Mitt Romney https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/02/04/romney-child-benefit-stimulus/ (proposed) a sweeping plan to combine several tax credits and the major US cash welfare program into a universal child allowance, paid in cash to families on a monthly basis. Democrats responded with a https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/02/07/child-benefit-democrats-biden/ (plan) of their own that would introduce a slightly smaller child allowance, but keep other federal benefits intact. How would a universal child allowance affect child poverty in the US? Does this policy hold fast to the conservative tradition of pursuing “temporary, targeted, and timely” federal supports?  Joining Naomi and Ian in this episode is AEI Rowe Scholar in poverty studies https://www.aei.org/profile/angela-rachidi/ (Angela Rachidi). She discusses the history of poverty alleviation programs in the US, the potential unintended consequences of a child allowance, and the policy agenda of a new “pro-natalist” movement on the right focused on removing barriers that prevent Americans from having the number of children they desire. Later, Ian, Naomi, and Angela explore means-tested “baby bonds” as a potential alternative to the child allowance.  Show Notes: 03:50 | Child allowance proposals on the Left and Right 04:40 | Key differences between Romney proposal and Democrat’s policy 06:45 | A return to pre-1996 welfare 10:30 | Why send cash to high income families? 14:05 | Pro-natalist case for a child allowance 16:30 | Ideal fertility vs. actual fertility rates; what are the tradeoffs? 19:05 | What about means-tested “baby bonds?”  22:20 | Will a child allowance proposal become law in the near future? Resources : https://www.aei.org/articles/fix-family-poverty-with-free-markets-for-once/ (Fix family poverty with free markets, for once) | Naomi Schaefer Riley and Angela Rachidi | Reason https://www.aei.org/poverty-studies/how-would-a-child-allowance-affect-employment/ (How would a child allowance affect employment?) | Angela Rachidi | AEIdeas https://www.aei.org/op-eds/romneys-child-allowance-proposal-would-eliminate-decades-of-anti-poverty-progress/ (Romney’s child allowance proposal would eliminate decades of anti-poverty progress) | Angela Rachidi | RealClearPolicy
Feb 24, 2021
Mark Perry on Title IX violations and institutionalized discrimination
21:10
Description: Title IX was first implemented in the 1960s to rectify discrimination against women on the basis of sex in institutions receiving federal funding. In what can only be described as one of the quickest shifts in American culture, women began to outperform men in both enrollment and success in higher education. What role should Title IX play in promoting equal opportunity today? Are woke colleges and universities misconstruing the original intent of this rule and unlawfully discriminating against men? How does Title VI — a counterpart to Title IX that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin — fit into the picture? In this episode, https://twitter.com/Mark_J_Perry?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Mark Perry), a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, joins Naomi and Ian to discuss the history of Title IX and Title VI and to highlight concerning trends that now threaten the original intent of these rules to ensure equal opportunity. Mark has filed 300 Title IX complaints with the office for civil rights, resulting in 144 federal investigations for violations of civil rights laws and more than 30 resolutions in his favor. Resources: https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/do-our-woke-universities-live-up-to-their-own-values/ (Do our woke universities live up to their own values?) | Mark J. Perry | Carpe Diem https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/the-year-in-review-an-update-on-my-efforts-to-challenge-title-ix-violations-in-higher-education-and-advance-civil-rights-for-all/ (The year in review: An update on my efforts to challenge Title IX violations in higher education and advance civil rights for all) | Mark J. Perry | Carpe Diem Show Notes: 01:05 | What are Title IX and Title VI, and how are they supposed to function? 03:40 | Women outperforming men in higher education 08:30 | Can you use disparities to justify discrimination at an institutional level? 10:10 | How will the new Biden-Harris administration respond to Title IX discrimination? 12:00 | How does Title IX impact single-sex programs? 19:15 | Is discrimination leaving boys behind in education and job preparedness?
Feb 10, 2021
Is it racist to hold historically black colleges to the same academic standards as other schools?
21:24
For decades, the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program has sought to hold colleges across the country accountable to provide a quality education to their student-athletes. Yet, today, this program has come under fire for the way it treats historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Is it racist to hold HBCUs to the same academic standards as other colleges? What role should institutions of higher education play in serving the long-term interests of their athletes? In this episode, https://twitter.com/JohnnyCTaylorJr?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Johnny Taylor Jr.)—president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management—joins Naomi and Ian to discuss this issue and more. Johnny is an expert on issues pertaining to HBCUs. He used to lead the Thurgood Marshall College Fund—a non-profit organization supporting more than 300,000 students at HBCUs. Johnny notes that a vast majority of student athletes—even those from top-tier athletic schools—never go on to play professional sports, and academic standards are an essential method of holding colleges accountable to prepare their student-athletes for career success.  Later, Naomi, Ian and Johnny discuss why HBCUs continue to provide critical pathways to upward mobility for young black men and women who might otherwise miss out on opportunities for higher education. They also examine recent unsolicited donations from Mackenzie Scott and discuss why it will be important for additional support of these institutions to hold colleges accountable to allocate funding toward value-adding improvements.  Time stamps: 00:58 | What is the Academic Performance Program and why is it coming under fire?  06:22 | How do we understand claims of systemic racism in the NCAA? 08:55 | Should we be investing more resources into HBCU’s? 11:00 | What is the ‘Value Proposition’ of HBCU Institutions? 17:35 | The recent renaissance of HBCUs with notable graduates like Stacey Abrams, Raphael Warnock and Kamala Harris.  
Jan 27, 2021
Free speech and “woke” sensibilities in schools
22:02
Schools across the country have begun to adopt practices around teaching and enforcing “woke” principles that raise concerns about the rights and wellbeing of children. In some instances, students are required to publically declare their support or opposition to certain ideologies and “corrected” later if their answers are not satisfactory. Are schools overstepping their bounds and infringing on students’ rights? How can educators generate healthy and productive conversations on race? Joining Naomi and Ian in this episode is https://www.thefire.org/resources/fire-staff-speakers/bonnie-kerrigan-snyder/ (Bonnie Snyder), the High School Outreach Fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Bonnie shares her efforts with FIRE to produce a manuscript called “Undoctrinate,” which seeks to provide educators the necessary tools to promote free and constructive conversations in schools. Later, they share encouraging news about the success of the “1776 Unites” project’s high school curriculum, which presents a more complete and authentic approach to American history, recognizing both America’s legacy of slavery and the remarkable accomplishments of black Americans in the face of oppression. Resources: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/naomi-schaefer-riley/elite-education-racism/ (My kids and their elite education in racism) | Naomi Schaefer Riley | Commentary https://1776unites.com/our-work/curriculum/ (1776 Unites Curriculum) | “1776 Unites” https://www.dailywire.com/news/elite-private-school-in-la-rolls-out-new-anti-racism-policies-some-students-parents-and-alumni-arent-thrilled (Elite Private School In L.A. Rolls Out New ‘Anti-Racism’ Policies — Some Students, Parents, And Alumni Aren’t Thrilled) | Jon Brown | The Daily Wire Show notes: 00:45 | What is happening in high schools around free speech and the “woke” sensibility? 02:00 | Concerning incidents of public humiliation 05:35 | What is FIRE doing to help parents and their students stand up to school overreach? 09:51 | How these efforts threaten the future of high school students 13:28 | Why the “1776 Unites” curriculum ican help schools promote free and constructive conservations about race and opportunity in America 17:40 | Crediting the “1619 Project” for raising an important discussion on the gaps in school curricula on American history 19:15 | How the legacy of the “Rosenwald schools” can inform an approach to build a brighter future for black Americans
Jan 13, 2021
The hard bigotry of San Diego’s new grading system
20:12
In October 2020, the San Diego Unified School District board unanimously approved sweeping changes to the district’s grading system in an effort to become “anti-racist.” Among these changes: removing the requirement for all students to turn in their homework on time. Does altering the way students are graded really address the root problem of the achievement gap? How do “anti-racist” policies shape the way minority children view themselves? How will parents respond to this policy decision, given that California voters just struck down a state-wide referendum to allow affirmative action policies? In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://www.aei.org/profile/nathaniel-n-malkus/ (Nat Malkus), AEI Resident Scholar and Deputy Director of Education Policy Studies, to discuss the potential effects of San Diego’s new policy. Nat notes that schools are not just vehicles for transferring academic knowledge from teachers to students — they are supposed to prepare children to flourish in all areas of life. Accordingly, schools and teachers should encourage and reward hard work, consistent effort, and self-confidence, among other important character traits. Resources: https://www.aei.org/op-eds/the-soft-bigotry-of-anti-racist-expectations-is-damaging-to-black-and-white-kids-alike/ (The soft bigotry of anti-racist expectations is damaging to Black and white kids alike) | Ian Rowe | USA Today Time stamps: 01:25 | San Diego’s grading overhaul and growing “anti-racist” efforts in schools across the US. 03:30 | The importance of rewarding both mastery and character formation in schools. 06:45 | Studying students’ successes rather than their failures in order to identify ways to reduce disparities. 07:45 | Will changing a grading system really address the root causes of the achievement gap? 11:25 | School is about more than just learning academic material and earning a test score. 12:30 | How do “anti-racist” school policies affect the self-perception of minority students? 17:00 | California’s referendum on affirmative action and parents’ reaction to “anti-racist” policies. 
Dec 23, 2020
Can the government deny foster parent applications due to religious beliefs?
25:30
James and Gail Blais were barred from fostering their one-year-old great-granddaughter due to their religious beliefs. During the foster parent application process, the Washington state government led the Blaises through hypothetical questions assessing how they would respond if their great-granddaughter were to identify as homosexual or transgender at some point in the future. As Seventh-Day Adventists, the Blaises said they would certainly continue to love the child, but they could not support the child’s decision in that circumstance. This raises an important question: can state governments deny foster applications due to the religious beliefs of potential foster parents?  In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://twitter.com/VolokhC?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Eugene Volokh), an expert in first amendment law and professor of law at UCLA, to explore how state adoption authorities can ensure the well-being of foster children while respecting the religious beliefs of prospective foster parents. Volokh notes that because the Blaises were applying to care for a relative, and the decision to deny their application was based on responses to hypothetical scenarios, this case signals a particularly concerning overreach by the Washington state government. Resources: https://reason.com/volokh/2020/10/09/coupled-barred-from-fostering-their-1-year-old-great-granddaughter-because-of-their-opposition-to-homosexuality-and-gender-transitioning/ (Couple Barred from Fostering Their 1-Year-Old Great-Granddaughter Because of They Oppose Homosexuality and Gender Transitioning) | Eugene Volokh | Reason Show notes: 01:05 | Why did Washington's child welfare department deny the Blais’ foster application? 04:05 | How should we think about the boundaries the government places around foster parenting? 07:10 | Should foster agencies incorporate speculative scenarios in the decision-making process? 09:20 | Do people with non-religious conscientious objections have rights as well? 12:40 | How can foster agencies recruit the greatest volume of high-quality foster parents possible? 18:25 | Should the perspective of children’s biological parents be taken into account? 21:39 | Regardless of legality, is it prudent for the government to place its “hand on the scale” and emphasize one factor over all others when determining the fit of a foster family?
Dec 09, 2020
The Protestant school-to-family pipeline
18:34
Much research demonstrates the academic benefits of school choice. But schools don’t just convey academic knowledge to children — they also play a critical role in developing a child’s social and moral life. In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://edre.uark.edu/people/faculty/uid/pwolf/name/Patrick-Wolf/ (Patrick Wolf), professor of education policy at the University of Arkansas. They discuss a recent paper Wolf co-authored with AEI visiting scholar and UVA professor https://mobile.twitter.com/WilcoxNMP?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Brad Wilcox), exploring how enrollment in public, Catholic, Protestant, and secular private schools shapes children’s family outcomes later in life. The results suggest the moral ecologies of these different school types are powerfully linked to the family lives students will ultimately lead as they grow into adulthood. In other words, private schools — especially Protestant ones — may offer a clear advantage to children when it comes to family life.  Resources: https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/the-protestant-family-ethic/ (The Protestant family ethic) | American Enterprise Institute https://www.aei.org/articles/private-schools-outpace-public-schools-in-putting-kids-on-the-path-to-marriage/ (Private schools outpace public schools in putting kids on the path to marriage) | NationalReview.com Time stamps: 02:00 | Why did Wolf partner with Brad Wilcox to study the intersection of education and family life? 03:10 | Which schools put children at an advantage when it comes to family life? 06:45 | What are “moral ecologies” and why are they important? 10:35 | How do the moral messages Protestant and Catholic schools send to their students differ? 14:20 | What are the implications of these findings for public schools?
Nov 25, 2020
How has the Opioid epidemic affected children?
16:38
The Opioid epidemic has received a great deal of attention in the national media, but little has focused on how this tragic crisis is affecting children. New research suggests the drug crisis has torn at least 1.5 million children away from a parent since the mid-nineties. Such large disruptions to children’s living arrangements will have long-reaching impacts. In this episode, Ian and Naomi are joined by https://twitter.com/Kasey_Buckles?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Kasey Buckles), a professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame. She recently co-authored an important new study on the drug crisis and its effects on children. Dr. Buckles and her co-authors reveal that laws favoring OxyContin advertisement and prescriptions likely contributed to a rise in the number of children separated from their parents. As we continue to grapple with the drug crisis in this country, the evidence from this study suggests that our policies can have a strong impact on children’s well-being. Resources: https://www.nber.org/papers/w27633 (The drug crisis and the living arrangements of children) | National Bureau for Economic Research Time Stamps: 01:05 | Key findings of the study 04:08 | How do the authors isolate the effects of the drug crisis, versus other causes?  09:55 | How did the drug crisis impact children of different races? 13:30 | Most important interventions to uplift child-wellbeing  14:15 | How the effects of this crisis extend beyond the foster care system
Nov 11, 2020
Children need to be loved
17:56
Startling pictures of starving, neglected, naked children were the first images seen by American parents after Ceaușescu’s communist dictatorship in Romania fell in the late 80s. But a well-intentioned rush to adopt these children led to difficulties for many Romanian children and their American parents, because families and adoption agencies did not fully understand the brain damage these children had incurred under squalor conditions in Romanian orphanages. How does a lack of personal affection shape a child’s development? Why are strong familial bonds so important? In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://www.agnesscott.edu/directory/faculty/greene-melissa.html (Melissa Fay Greene), Kirk Distinguished Writer in Residence at Agnes Scott College, to discuss her recent Atlantic article on the wave of Romanian adoptees brought to the US in the 1980s. The lack of personal attachment experienced by these children caused severe impairments to their development, speaking to the critical importance of love for healthy child development. Resources: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/can-an-unloved-child-learn-to-love/612253/ (30 Years Ago, Romania Deprived Thousands of Babies of Human Contact) | The Atlantic Time stamps: 01:10 | Greene’s personal connection to adoption in Romania 03:50 | Discovering brain damage in the Romanian children due to lack of nurture in orphanages 05:15 | What happened when the adoptees went from scarcity to abundance in an American home? 10:45 | Importance of love and stability for child development 16:45 | How long can a child be without a nurturer?
Oct 28, 2020
Can "anti-racism" trainings be racist?
17:08
It is good to fight against racism in schools and in the workplace. But a new wave of “anti-bias” trainings in public and private organizations are pushing a divisive and disempowering narrative surrounding race. Organizations ranging from local school districts to the Seattle government and the Treasury Department have singled out white employees for “anti-racism” trainings and engaged in humiliating practices that studies have shown to be ineffective. In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://twitter.com/realchrisrufo?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Christopher Rufo), director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty, to discuss the impacts of critical race theory, a growing philosophy that seeks to distill a person’s identity to his or her race. Resources: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-truth-about-critical-race-theory-11601841968 (The truth about critical race theory) | The Wall Street Journal https://christopherrufo.com/summary-of-critical-race-theory-investigations/ (Summary of critical race theory investigations) | Christopherrufo.com Time Stamps: 01:25 | How a public request led to uncovering divisive training sessions sponsored by the FBI, Treasury Department, NASA, and other core federal agencies 04:19 | The “weaponization” of anti-bias trainings 07:40 | Harvard study finds critical race theory anti-bias trainings are ineffective 10:35 | How do non-white employees respond to these trainings? 13:10 | What are children being taught in school about their race?
Oct 14, 2020
What’s race got to do with it?
17:10
Loving homes are important for adoptive children, regardless of the race of the adoptee. But recent articles from the Brookings Institution and America Magazine have called into question whether race is a more important factor when matching a child with their adoptive parents. Particularly, they suggest that white parents adopting black children can be damaging. Should adoption be determined by race or by merit? What are the consequences of limiting adoption to only racial matches?  In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://www.manhattan-institute.org/expert/malka-groden (Malka Groden), adoptive mother of two young children and deputy director of development at the Manhattan Institute, to discuss the importance of transracial adoption. As Malka, Naomi and Ian reveal, science and scholarship suggest that love wins out over racial differences when offering any child a stable home where he or she can flourish. Resources: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/how-we-rise/2020/08/26/abby-johnsons-comments-about-her-adopted-black-son-are-problematic-heres-why/ (Abby Johnson’s comments about her adopted Black son are problematic. Here’s why.) | Brookings Institution https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/07/08/white-parents-Black-kids-transracial-adoption (White parents adopting Black kids raises hard questions. We can all learn from them) | America Magazine Show Notes: 01:05 | Is it problematic for a white family to adopt a black child? 03:10 | Loving adoption over the foster system 06:55 | Building genuine relationships with diverse communities 08:25 | Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 prioritizes loving placement over race-based placement 12:05 | Science affirms need for attachment, regardless of skin color 15:30 | Traumas felt by all adoptees and biological children, due to imperfect parents
Sep 23, 2020
Remote learning that works
20:04
By nearly all measures, remote learning fell short for a majority of students in the spring of 2020. With most schools opting to forego in-person teaching this fall, educators desperately need an effective virtual learning model to guide their teaching efforts. How can teachers engage students in their coursework, even as they tune in from […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/remote-learning-that-works/ (Remote learning that works) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Sep 09, 2020
How to homeschool in a pandemic
15:48
With a large majority of public schools opting to continue remote learning this fall in lieu of reopening, parents face a unique set of challenges as home-based education becomes a more permanent fixture of life. How will life change for the millions of working parents whose children will now be at home for the fall? […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/how-to-homeschool-in-a-pandemic/ (How to homeschool in a pandemic) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Aug 26, 2020
Addressing racial disparities in foster care and inspiring agency in kids
16:40
A member of the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families recently issued a call to abolish foster care. Is the foster care system inherently racist? Are children being removed from their homes simply because their families are experiencing poverty? How can we ensure that disadvantaged children can have a brighter, more prosperous future? […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/addressing-racial-disparities-in-foster-care-and-inspiring-agency-in-kids/ (Addressing racial disparities in foster care and inspiring agency in kids) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Aug 12, 2020
Private schools can help low-income kids, too
15:48
The Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) recently surveyed parents who receive need-based scholarships from their organization to send their children to inner-city private schools. How has the coronavirus affected the lives of low-income children attending these private schools? Were private schools in the CSF network prepared to meet the needs of vulnerable students this past spring […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/private-schools-can-help-low-income-kids-too/ (Private schools can help low-income kids, too) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Jul 22, 2020
Lockdown learning and children’s right to read
15:28
Young people in Detroit are suing the state of Michigan over deplorable learning conditions in many of their city’s public schools. This begs the question: Why do students need to take such extreme measures to fight for the right to learn how to read? Are these poor learning conditions caused by a lack of school […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/lockdown-learning-and-childrens-right-to-read/ (Lockdown learning and children’s right to read) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Jul 08, 2020
Abolishing the SAT won’t help minorities. Neither will abolishing the police
20:14
Ian and Naomi talk to Jason Riley, a Manhattan Institute fellow and WSJ columnist, about racial bias in standardized testing and law enforcement The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/abolishing-the-sat-wont-help-minorities-neither-will-abolishing-the-police/ (Abolishing the SAT won’t help minorities. Neither will abolishing the police) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Jun 24, 2020
Lockdown is more than an inconvenience for vulnerable children
14:16
Penn State's Sarah Font joins to discuss the child abuse risks caused by lockdown orders, child welfare during COVID, and how officials can keep kids safe. The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/lockdown-is-more-than-an-inconvenience-for-vulnerable-children/ (Lockdown is more than an inconvenience for vulnerable children) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Jun 11, 2020
Measuring adversity (and protecting kids from it)
14:40
In a time of uncertainty, Ian and Naomi share uplifting news about foster care adoption rates and how to protect children from adverse experiences The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/are-you-kidding-me-measuring-adversity-and-protecting-kids-from-it/ (Measuring adversity (and protecting kids from it)) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Jun 10, 2020
Is universal child care universally beneficial?
17:46
Nobel laureate James Heckman recently made waves among early childhood advocates when he said he is not, and never was, a supporter of universal pre-K. In this episode, Katharine Stevens — a resident scholar at AEI specializing in early childhood development — joins Ian and Naomi for a riveting discussion on James Heckman’s research and […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/is-universal-child-care-universally-beneficial/ (Is universal child care universally beneficial?) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 27, 2020
Parenting 101
20:24
How do we promote educational opportunities for low-income children even before they start going to school? Does investing in young children really reap big benefits? Does the provision of center-based child care for families encourage low parental engagement in a child’s life? On this episode, Ian and Naomi are joined by Sarah Walzer, the CEO […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/parenting-101/ (Parenting 101) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 14, 2020
Creating a national summer learning program
20:12
Ian and Naomi talk with two educational reform giants on ways to salvage the learning time lost to COVID-19 and keep kids engaged through summer learning The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/creating-a-national-summer-learning-program/ (Creating a national summer learning program) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 07, 2020
Getting the Incentives Right
21:48
Before the Great Depression, charitable and religious organizations almost exclusively ran the child welfare system in the US. What is the appropriate role of private institutions in the child welfare system today? How can policy redress the perverse incentives currently built into the funding model of public child welfare agencies? In this episode, Ian and […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/getting-the-incentives-right/ (Getting the Incentives Right) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 06, 2020
Fathers, Be Good to Your Daughters
16:46
Ian and Naomi delve into varied parenting-related topics in this episode, including the role of fatherhood, prison nurseries, and rising black teen suicides The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/fathers-be-good-to-your-daughters/ (Fathers, Be Good to Your Daughters) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 05, 2020
Going Nuclear
18:56
How does family structure impact the social, educational, and economic outcomes of kids? Is the nuclear family really just a myth constructed in the 1950s? Can stable families advance the cause of social justice? On this episode of “Are You Kidding Me?” Ian and Naomi are joined by AEI Visiting Scholar and UVA sociologist W. […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/going-nuclear/ (Going Nuclear) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 05, 2020
Pandemic parenting
15:00
Ian and Naomi discuss how parents can balance caretaking with teleworking and how teachers can ensure that students' living rooms are productive classrooms. The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/pandemic-parenting/ (Pandemic parenting) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 04, 2020
Moneyball for child welfare
20:40
Child pornography is both illegal and immoral, yet it continues to proliferate throughout cyberspace. Ian and Naomi discuss what, if anything, the government and private tech companies can do to stop it. Later, they discuss the potential of predictive analytics to avoid tragedies like the murder of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins. Show Notes: – Explosion of […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/moneyball-for-child-welfare/ (Moneyball for child welfare) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 04, 2020
Changing the culture of adoption
21:48
Spence-Chapin CEO Kate Trambitskaya joins Ian and Naomi to discuss routes to adoption, attitudes to birth-family contact, and ways to promote fostering kids The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/changing-the-culture-of-adoption/ (Changing the culture of adoption) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 03, 2020
‘Musical Beds’ and the shortage of foster parents
21:52
Children entering the foster care system have often experienced serious trauma, but there is nothing inevitable about their life’s trajectories. In this episode, Naomi and Ian discuss what happens to youth aging out of foster care, how the child welfare system can increase the recruitment and retention of foster parents, and the difference between child […] The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/musical-beds-and-the-shortage-of-foster-parents/ (‘Musical Beds’ and the shortage of foster parents) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 03, 2020
Family structure isn’t everything — it’s the only thing
18:14
Ian and Naomi discuss the impact of family structure on black children's outcomes and how the Indian Child Welfare Act made a "separate but unequal" system The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/family-structure-isnt-everything-its-the-only-thing/ (Family structure isn’t everything — it’s the only thing) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 02, 2020
Hey, Democrats — how about some power to the parents?
20:04
Ian Rowe and Naomi Schaefer Riley discuss debates over the Federal Charter Schools Program, as well as the tense relationships between communities and Child Protective Services. The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/hey-democrats-how-about-some-power-to-the-parents/ (Hey, Democrats — how about some power to the parents?) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 01, 2020
Why we offer less protection to minority kids
15:50
Hosts Ian and Naomi discuss chronic absenteeism in foster children, one judge's view on the disparate impact theory, and how IWCA aided in a child's death The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/why-we-offer-less-protection-to-minority-kids/ (Why we offer less protection to minority kids) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
May 01, 2020
Welcome to: Are You Kidding Me?
03:08
Join Naomi Schaefer Riley and Ian Rowe as they introduce AEI's newest podcast on child welfare and education: "Are You Kidding Me?" The post https://www.aei.org/multimedia/welcome-to-are-you-kidding-me/ (Welcome to: Are You Kidding Me?) appeared first on https://www.aei.org (American Enterprise Institute - AEI).
Apr 30, 2020